Now, on to the most exciting news! Carson Ayers Campbell finally joined our family! I was so anxious for his arrival and tired of being pregnant! He was 4 days overdue!
I am still so amazed at how God orchestrated the whole event and how quickly and smoothly everything worked out. My recovery has basically been nonexistent, because there wasn't anything to recover from! Carson's temperment is so mild compared to Brady's. I've already told Rob that I'm ready to get pregnant again.....jokingly :)
Carson's Birth Story
After a few weeks of encouragement from Rob I finally decided to switch back to my amazing midwife at 37 weeks pregnant (full term!). I had been reluctant up until that point because of the kidney issue that was found during my 20 week ultrasound and the subsequent trips to the high-risk OB. I wanted to make sure everything was OK with Carson. On top of that the office where my midwife works is a very strange place. I cannot say enough good things about the midwife herself, she is beyond wonderful, however, Alabama is not a very midwife friendly state and she is the only one in our city. And the hospital/clinic she works at is really more of a clinic for the poor/teenage mother types. Going for a visit at her office is almost always eventful and I see/hear a lot of sad things. Not to mention that the office staff there is almost always really rude. Needless to say, I wasn't very excited about dealing with all this again. But, as I neared the end of my pregnancy and really started to focus on the actual birth, I started to have a lot of anxiety. The OB I had been using hadn't done anything to upset me, but the thought of the unfamiliar and being in a different hospital was really starting to cause a lot of anxiety. I know my midwife pretty well and her thoughts on a lot of the typical interventions used in a hospital setting. I knew she wouldn't force or even suggest many of the uneccesary routine procedures used during birth. But I didn't know how my new OB felt about many of these things. So, after a long talk with Rob and my doula/childbirth instructor/friend, Katrina, and a phone call to the midwife (on her personal cell phone after hours - how many OB's do you know that will take that kind of time with you?) I decided to switch back!
The only negative about switching back to the midwife was that she was going on vacation 5 days after my due date. I decided to go ahead and switch anyway because I felt incredibly confident that I would not go past my due date. During my last pregnancy I decided not to get "checked" at all, so I never knew if I was beginning to dilate in advance or not. This time, however, I was anxious so I asked her to every week. At 38 weeks I was 1-2 cm. At 39 weeks a "good 2cm". One day before my due date 3-4 cm and she stretched my membranes. At this point I was starting to get nervous because I knew she was going on vacation soon. I was starting to debate taking castor oil to induce labor, but kept chickening out.
Finally at 3 days overdue after trying everything I could think of including walking 4 miles that morning, weeks of taking evening primrose oil and Dr. Christopher's Prenatal Formula and having lots of uncomfortable "pregnancy sex" she checked me again and I was a good 4 cm and she stripped my membranes and told me that night was the night for the castor oil. I only had one day left to go into labor before she left town. She gave me clear instructions for the oil and said it would take about 4 hours to work and to take it around 3-4 am and go back to bed, in hopes that by 7 or 8 I would be in labor.
My mom had been in town for over a week to help us care for Brady while we were in the hospital, I alerted my doula, and we had our hospital bags packed. I woke up once around 2:30 because Carson was moving like crazy, but decided not to take the oil yet because I thought it was still a little early. I woke back up around 3:45 and decided it was time. I chugged the 2tbs. of oil mixed with a little OJ and baking soda and followed it up with a big glass of white grape juice. Honestly, it really wasn't that bad. Everyone who has taken it has talked about how awful it is, but besides it being really thick it really didn't have much of a flavor, granted I also held my nose while swallowing it, but it wasn't as terrible as I had thought it would be. After taking it I went back to bed and just as I was about to finally drift off to sleep I felt a painful "pop" in my belly and knew it had to be my water breaking even though nothing was actually leaking out yet. This was at 4:15am. I laid there for a little while and got up twice to check, but still no major leak of fluid. This didn't really suprise me though, because it was the same way when my water broke with Brady. I figured I had some time before contractions would start, since last time it took 3 hours and the midwife told me it would take 4 hours for the oil to work. I was so excited and shocked though I couldn't really fall back asleep so finally at 4:45 I texted my doula what had happened, since I knew that she would need to call her babysitter for her 2 children. I started having contractions shortly after this.
I had about 2 or 3 contractions that were about 10-15 minutes apart and then it was the castor oil's turn :) If you know anything about castor oil, you know that it's main use is that of a laxative. My experience wasn't that terrible because I only took 2 Tbs. of it, but during my 10 minutes or so of bathroom time, I had quite a few contractions. I had started timing them using an online website (contractionmaster.com) but I was really confused at how fast they were happening and convinced myself that I was confusing actual contractions with "poo pains"! I then decided to get in the shower since that helped ease my labor last time and Rob sat on the edge of the tub with the laptop in hand timing the contractions. After a few contractions he said, "Dear, you know these are only about 1.5 - 2 minutes apart, right?" I thought, "there's no way!" They were honestly not very painful! Nothing compared to the contractions I had during Brady's labor. And they were only lasting about 30-45 seconds long. I was really confused. We talked about calling the midwife and when we should leave for the hospital. The original plan was for our doula to come to our house and help me labor before we left. Rob had already called her a few minutes before and she was waiting for her babysitter to arrive and then she was going to come over. A few more minutes (and contractions) went by and I told Rob we should probably go ahead and leave for the hospital. We tried calling the midwife 3 times, but could't get through. I think I may have had the wrong phone number stored in my phone. I really wasn't in that terrible amount of pain. I would need to stop what I was doing to get through every contraction, but I was still coherent and calm in between them. Whereas last time I was a madwoman and screamed and cursed everyone out around me! Rob woke my mom up and told him we were leaving as I was trying to get dressed - it was taking me quite a while, since I couldn't move very fast and the contractions were happing so frequently. Finally we got in the car and left at 6:15. Rob called the midwife again, this time from his phone and got through. When he told her how fast the contractions were coming she sounded concerned and said she's meet us at the hospital. Rob had also called the doula right before we left and told her to just go to the hospital.
We arrived there about 6:45 and for some reason we both had it in our heads that it was later than it was and that I wouldn't need to check in through the emergency room and instead could check in through the main OB Admitting office. So Rob dropped me off at the front entrance to the hospital, and he left to go park the car. It was still a little dark out and I could see inside the main entrance a group of about 15 nursing or med school students waiting in the main lobby for their morning rounds. I kept thinking, "oh great, I have to walk through them all, they're going to think I'm crazy!" I was an absolute mess. I was sweaty, my hair was thrown back in a messy pony tail and headband, no makeup, I was wearing ugly capri sweat pants, a nursing bra, and an ill fitting tank top. But there I was carrying my little Coach purse, walking S L O W L Y for everyone to see. I had 2 contractions in the 30 feet it took me to walk up to the main hospital doors and had to stop for each one. As I entered through the main door I could feel all their eyes on me! One guy nodded good morning to me and I was trying so hard not to make eye contact with anyone and to just keep walking. I walked through the 1st set of double doors towards L & D and down the hallway. When I looked up I saw that the main OB Admitting office was closed! I whispered out loud, "sh*t, they're closed"! At that moment a few of the students had caught up to me and Rob was right behind them. I remember them saying "ma'am are you ok?", "somebody get her a wheelchair". All I could say was "No, no chair"! And thinking "don't they know what's about to come out of here, are they nuts, I'm not about to sit down!"
Thankfully there were some other nurses at another station nearby and I walked over there and as I hunched over during a contraction, calmly said, "I'm about to give birth". Obviously I wasn't in the right place and they told me to go on through another set of double doors to L&D. I don't know why I didn't remember that I could go through those doors on my own - probably because I hadn't even been admitted yet. As we were walking towards those doors - 2 of the students holding me up by my arms and a couple more walking behind me - I had a major contraction and had to get down on my hands and knees in the hallway. I'm pretty sure I scared the crap out of them! They probably thought they were going to be delivering the baby right there. Finally we made it through the doors and down the hallway to the nurses station. My midwife had already called them and told them to be expecting me and they had a room ready for me. I walked in and leaned over the bed for a contraction. They were trying to decide how the nurse was going to check me in that position, but finally I was able to somewhat lay back on the bed. I was 9 cm already. I got off the bed and leaned back over it since that was the most comfortable position for me. About 5 minutes later the midwife and my doula both walked in. I was so happy to see them both! I asked for a towel on the floor because I just felt like I needed to kneel down. About 5 minutes later I said "I either need to poop or this baby is coming out!" My midwife said "that's the baby, let's get you up on the bed." I climbed up and leaned over the back of the bed that was sitting upright. I held onto the bar on the back of the bed and suddenly got the urge to push. I remember looking over my shoulder at my midwife and seeing that she didn't have any gloves on her hands and thinking to myself "she needs to hurry up, this baby is coming now!" I don't remember how many pushes I had. But I only pushed when there was a contraction and my body had the urge. It wasn't for long - no more than 10 minutes - because he was born at 7:07 am.
As soon as he came out the midwife commented on how big he was and said "I bet he's 10lbs 1oz". Sure enough he was! It was so amazing, I remember turning over and my midwife passing him up to me and telling me the cord wasn't very long, so not to pull him to hard. Then Rob was trying to take my shirt off of me because he knew I wanted to nurse him right away. We had to rub his back a little bit and they placed a little tube of oxygen on my breast near his nose because it took him a short while to start breathing well on his own. It also took a while for the placenta to come out. And the contractions to get it out were pretty painful too - not at all like my birth with Brady, his just kind of fell out! I looked at it after it finally did come out and was amazed at how large it was - probably twice the size of Brady's! During this time I asked them to go ahead and take Carson over to the scale and do his footprints, because the contractions from the placenta were painful and I couldn't really concentrate on him like I wanted to. When they confirmed that he really was 10lbs 1oz I looked up at the midwife and said, "oh, crap, how bad did I tear?" She said that I didn't tear at all! "What! No, way!" I was thinking. Brady was over a pound smaller and I had a really bad tear with him.
It wasn't until after all this when the nurse asked me if it was ok if she drew blood for my labs that I realized I didn't even have a hospital bracelet or gown on. We still hadn't done any paperwork or signed in. I didn't want an IV to begin with, but had decided that I would accept a hep-lock to keep hospital staff off my back. Thankfully since everything had gone so fast I got my original wish of no IV at all :)
Even though labor was moving so quickly, my doula was such a huge help. I had a small cold for the past week and couldn't breathe out of my nose, so my mouth was incredibly dry. She held my water bottle up for me each time I needed it and also took some great pictures with my camera. Even though most of them are inappropriate to show on this blog I am so grateful to have them!
So far Carson has been a very easy baby. I cannot believe he is already over 3 weeks old! It's amazing how much more comfortable and confident this time around! Here are a few pics...